Saturday, April 9, 2016

With the two-hour time change we were up early in our guesthouse with a delicious breakfast prepared by Carmen. Our team divided into three separate groups this morning:
Build a home cement foundation: Tim, Lauren, Cathy, Suzanne and Brian Septic Line Trench digging: Doug, Dianne and Kelly Women Coop Teamwork Training Session: Juli and Diane

The Build a Home group travelled in the back of truck to our “Adopt a family” site.  We were met with opened arms. Mom Claudia eyes filled up when she saw us arrive.  Their current cozy two-room corn stalk ho
use sleeps Grandma, Mom Claudia, Dad Freddie and son William. Our supplies had arrived the previous day. Thank you to our sponsors back home because without them we would have no supplies. If anyone is interested in recreating a cement house foundation that is 16ft by 12ft and 3 inches deep, here is the combination of supplies:
*16 wheelbarrows of sand
*12 wheel barrows of collected small rocks
*8 bags of dry cement mix
*30 buckets of water.
*Mix until you have created a soupy mix of cement.
Our foundation was poured in three hours with a lot of love and effort.  The Adopt a Family were so excited to see the beginnings of the creation of their new house. The sweat and sore muscles were worth it when we saw the smiles from our new Guatemalan adopted family.

The Septic Line trench digging also was a hot job in 30 degrees sunshine.  The Loving Arms’ Centre of Hope is building a new septic system and needed a 200 foot long trench that was 3-4 feet deep.  All you need are two shovels, two picks and a lot of muscle power.   The group had the help of Mynor (the site security guard). The team had help from dozens of geckos.

The Womens Coop Teamwork workshop brought together five Coop groups representing (Sewing, knitting, crocheting, jewelry and soup/shampoo making).  Women in the local villages are divided into COOPs to learn/refine new skills and sell their wares at the market.  The training in this workshop focused on building teamwork skills in their coop.  It was amazing to see how the coops that were initiated 6 years ago have progressed and their stories were an inspiration the other women who are just starting out in the coops that will be initiated this week.

We regrouped at lunchtime for another meal created with Carmen and a little siesta before heading to our afternoon work tasks:

Septic Trench Digging: Tim, Doug and Brian
Wall building for Adopt A Family house: Kelly and Dianne
Teenage Girl Empowerment Workshop: Lauren, Cathy, Suzanne, Diane and Juli

The septic trench digging continued with picks and shovels.  The gravity feed trench will connect the school to the septic tank.  The soil we were digging was well-eroded metamorphic rock.

The wall building crew built four wall panels.  Through perseverance four wall panels were created. With very knotty sappy wood non-tempered nails bent and twisted. Rough milled 2 by 4s were used to create the stud walls for the shell of the house, outlined with exterior wall covers

The Teenage Girl Empowerment Workshop led by Lauren rotated the participants through four leadership stations.  The teenagers experienced leadership lessons through hygiene kits, creating friendship bracelets, learning origami and journal writing. It was exciting to hear dreams and hopes of these young girls.  They were really gracious and full of gratitude for all of the hygiene items and goodies we were able to give them from donors back home.

By 4:30 we were exhausted and ready for another dinner created by Carmen.  Diane presented a homemade apron to Carmen. The evening was spent reflecting on today’s accomplishments and preparations for another busy day tomorrow.

We are hoping tonight there won’t be as many mice, geckos and spiders in our guest house.

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